Archive - 2014

2015: The Year of the Book!

Book Heart

I. Am. Going. To. Write. A. Book.

During 2013 and 2014 I wrote a lot, but somehow I did not end up with anything that is actually complete. I didn’t even make it past the first draft stage on anything. But, now that I have many first drafts in various stages of completion, I am going to finish one of them.

My New Years Resolution is to write a book. Write the whole darn thing. To completion. I may not have it 100% ready to self-publish (but I hope I do! And you can help get me there by clicking here.) but I am going to finish it.

I’ve already selected which story I am going to finish. I’m about one third of the way done the first draft. Soon (once I take a look to make sure there are not any typos or glaring mistakes) I will post the first chapter of the first draft here on my blog, so that others can read it and tell me I suck— I mean, tell me that I can do this! I can write a book!

Now, I wrote this post so that I would be beholden to the vastness of the Internet in completing my goal. So, please hold me to it!

Love you all, happy New Year, and I hope that you all reach your goals for 2015!

Why It’s Important to Have At Least One Person Who Believes in You

My Husband

My husband is amazing. I truly wish that everyone could have someone like my husband in their lives. He believes in me when I can’t even believe in me.

I have been jobless and out of school for a year now. On purpose. My husband told me to quit my job over a year ago and when school got to annoying and I didn’t want to do it any more, he told me to quit that too. The reason? To write my heart out!

My full time writing experience started off really slow. How does one force themselves to work when there is no boss looking over their shoulder to make them? How does one balance the chores and writing? How does one not feel guilty all the time for making no money? I was writing a little bit, but I began to feel depressed, and not in the ooooo-this-will-fuel-my-writing type way. I also suffer from insomnia and it only gets worse when I am depressed/anxious/excited/you-name-it.

April’s Camp NaNoWriMo got me back on track for writing again (Although I didn’t even come close to reaching my goal), but again, after the month was nearly over, I began to feel like shit again. I had not yet finished a first draft, the chores were falling behind and I thought my stories sucked. By mid-summer, my husband had really begun to notice my lack of motivation (I had been trying really hard to hide it) and when he brought it up, I broke down. I told him I should just give up. That I should start looking for a job. That I would never finish anything at this rate. And he told me to calm the fuck down.

And I did. I put aside the depressing story I had been working on (dark fantasy isn’t the best thing to be writing when you are trying to stop being depressed…) and went back to another story I had already started. But, instead of continuing where I had left off, I began to edit my unfinished first draft. Oooooh dear. Every voice in my head that said my writing was crap and I would never finish anything began to sneak back in. They got louder and louder. It was now October and I knew that NaNoWriMo was next month, so once again, I chucked my current story aside and decided to start fresh. This one would be better. I told my husband that I would win NaNoWriMo and my first draft would be finished by December 31st. (Spoiler alert: It isn’t finished. Not even close. With only three days to go until my ridiculously planned deadline.)

Half way through November, I just stopped writing. My nephew had been born with a heart-defect and gone through his first surgery and the detrimental part of recovery and I had made myself write through it all, but then, once I knew he would be alright and once I knew my sister-in-law, her husband, and my nephew would be coming home soon, all of my exhaustion and fear caught up to me. I couldn’t write at all. And I just let it happen. NaNoWriMo was a failure.

Matt and Tucker

My husband with our nephew, Tucker!

 

Then December began, and my husband did the thing that would make me excited to get back to writing. He told me to print off every incomplete first draft I had ever written (except those first few, you know the ones. The ones that will never again see the light of day). I started printing them off and he began to read them. He was excited and his excitement made me excited. We decided together which one I should finish first and he began to edit it.

My husband's binder full of my writing.

My husband’s binder full of my writing.

 

He’ll be done editing it over the next few days, and then begins a new chapter of my full time writing adventure: Actually Finishing Something.

My advice for anyone struggling with their inner writing demons is to find someone in their life that will support them and their writing wholeheartedly. Someone who will read and review and edit, so that they will feel like their writing has worth. Because, spoiler alert, all writing has worth.

Arguments and Resolutions

Explosion

I contemplated writing this post and then talked myself out of it, then back in to it, and then out of it once again. So I’ve just decided to write it and then I will decide whether to post it or not after the fact.

Today I had another argument with my husband. Now, let me state for the record that he is usually very supportive and, not only that, but excited about my writing and my dream of making a career out of writing novels. But today it all became too much. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Many times over the past 10 months, since I quit my job and dropped out of school to focus on my writing, we have had this conversation; this argument. I’m sure some other writers experience this as well.

The fact is, when I started this full-time writing journey, we decided that it wouldn’t really be full-time. It would be my responsibility to keep the house clean and usable, and to put dinner on the table (or TV tray :P). That would be my priority since my husband would be the only one working (and by working, I mean bringing in the dough). I think this is fair. We can’t really afford for me to not be working (for money), so this is a good compromise for me to have the opportunity that I have. We also got a puppy in July, so she takes up quite a bit of my time as well.

Now, my writing is going well. I may have nothing really to show for it yet, but I feel like I am working toward my goal, and my husband agrees. I have about seven started manuscripts but I have yet to finish a first draft. I have tried editing as I go and I have tried locking away my inner-editor. I have tried project hopping and I have tried focusing on one thing at a time. I have discovered a lot about myself as a writer — about how and when I write best and about what motivates me and what does the opposite. But in the end, I have nothing to show for it. I have nothing published. I don’t even have a first draft completed. And I can’t even keep up on the chores.

I go in spurts. The apartment will be clean and up kept for, let’s say, a month, and then it will fall apart and become a disaster and I’ll become depressed and unmotivated and I mentally won’t be able to clean and I’ll fall behind on my writing and my husband will be irritated that I am not holding up my end of the bargain. (Holy run on sentence Batman!) But then I will slowly pick myself back up and get this place cleaned up and get back into my writing and my mood will improve and my husband’s mood will improve and we will have another month of good times.

The last couple of weeks haven’t been good. The kitchen counters are stacked with dirty dishes, the floors need to be vacuumed, every surface is cluttered, and the bathrooms need a good scrub. I haven’t written much for the past week. And to top it all off, my arm has been hurting like hell and I’ve had to start popping Ibuprofen and wearing a wrist brace.

Today, it all blew up.

I was doing the dishes and my husband was starting to make lunch when he made an irritated remark about the state of the kitchen. I retorted with the fact that I was doing the best I can… And well, it escalated from there. Next thing I knew, it was 6pm and we had argued most of the day away.

In the end, nothing is really going to change. I’ll keep trying and he’ll keep working and we will make it work. But I think that we both feel better now that we have let out the truth of how each of us have felt over the past 10 months. It may not have changed anything physically, but mentally today has made a world of difference.

Now, I am going to let this Ibuprofen kick in and then I’m going to get in the kitchen and scrub some pots and pans. And once that’s over with, maybe I’ll actually finish one of those first drafts. 😛

 

***UPDATE***

My husband wrote a blog post a couple days ago that touches on this subject and broadens the scope of what we have been dealing with this past year of writing mayhem. Please check it out!

Copyright © 2014-2017 Leetah Begallie. Designed by Coded Pixel.